Back in November 2011 the Mitchell Library (State Library of New South Wales in Sydney) purchased six albums containing 741 watercolours of Australia’s birds, fish, and plants some are now extinct, and these watercolours are the only record of them.
Photo by Stephen Cooper (from The Telegraph picture gallery)
The artists of these drawings are unknown, but a collector by the name of Aylmer Bourke Lambert bought these watercolours it is believed in 1795, before returning back to England, and bound them into six albums.
When Aylmer Bourke Lambert died in 1842, the albums were purchased by the 13th Earl of Derby, and have been kept by the family at Knowsley Hall near Liverpool in the UK.
Photos by Stephen Cooper (from The Telegraph picture gallery)
The Mitchell Library purchased these magnificent albums form the 19th Earl of Derby for $7.1 Million with the financial help from TAL, Dai-ichi-Life, the NSW Government and the State Library Foundation.
Photo by the State Library of NSW (from The Telegraph picture gallery)
I think it is wonderful to see some of Australia’s History was treasured and well kept, and now finally returned.
For anyone that is in Sydney or are going to Sydney and would like to see these drawings they will be on Display at the Library until mid February 2012.
The Mitchell Library is located in Macquarie Street, Sydney.